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Style Guide
In an effort to assist you as you search for the perfect lighting fit for your home, We have classified each fixture in a specific style. It is important to remember that style is somewhat subjective and often times, even experts disagree on the appropriate classification, especially when faced with the eclectic variety currently available. Nonetheless, we offer these explanations to help you select a piece that will match your home and your lifestyle.

 

Contemporary:


CONTEMPORARY / MODERN - From an academic standpoint, any new style created after 1930 is considered " contemporary." The heavy reliance of polished metals found in the Bauhaus designs was getting old. In the 1930's, wood was resurrected as a key element and the popularity of plastic opened up a whole new palette of options. While both contemporary and modern represent designs that have cut new paths, Kichler likes to categorize Modern pieces as those with a link to aesthetic history from 1930 to the 1960's. Contemporary covers the direction from that point to today.

Look for the complete absence of ornamentation, clean, uncluttered lines, single tone finishes without texture and an overall light feel in the construction.

The following brands carry Contemporary lighting:

Access Lighting

Alico Industries

Besa

PLC Lighting

Sonneman

Tech

WAC Lighting

Traditional:

TRADITIONAL - After the excesses of the Baroque and Rococo era and prior to the Industrial Revolution, artists were ready to revisit the classic antiquity of Greek and Roman buildings. From 1750 to the early 19th century, Neoclassicism was the predominant style of the day. The look is highly decorative in a refined manner. Gone were the superfluous accents and excessive design elements. The scale was smaller and the feel was restrained.

Look for elegance, gentle curves, and straight lines all wrapped in restrained ornamentation with simple finishing.


The following brands carry Traditional lighting:

Corbett Lighting

Designers Fountain

Hinkley Lighting

House of Troy

Hudson Valley Lighting

Kichler Lighting

Sea Gull Lighting

Thomas Lighting

Transitional:


TRANSITIONAL - Transitional is to Traditional as Casual is to Contemporary. Like Casual/Lifestyle, Transitional is a rather new term used to define a style that takes Traditional looks and softens them. Here again, the interior environment is meant to convey comfort. Transitional aesthetics run closer to classic traditional features, but forego the fussiness found in that classic styling. The intent is to create a warmer, more inviting room setting.

Look for bronze or earth tone finishes, warm glass accents or diffusers and traditional lines without heavy ornamentation.    

The following brands carry Transitional lighting:
 

Corbett Lighting Inc.

Designers Fountain

ELK Lighting Inc.

Hinkley Lighting

House of Troy

Hudson Valley Lighting

Justice Design Group

Kichler Lighting

Nuvo

Sea Gull Lighting

Stylicon

Thomas Lighting

Troy Lighting


Crystal:

The following brand carries Crystal lighting:  

Schonbek

Country:

The following brand carries Country lighting:  

Designers Fountain

Kichler Lighting

Landmark Lighting Inc.

Sea Gull Lighting

Troy Lighting

 

Children:

The following brand carries Childrens lighting:

Justice Design Group

Landmark Lighting Inc.

Fans:

Casablanca

Emerson Electric Company

 

Tiffany:

Landmark Lighting Inc.

Meyda Tiffany

Out door only:

Adjusta Post Lighting

Dinico

Hanover

 

Accessories:

Cooper

Medallion Fact.

Monterlite (Shades only)

ART DECO - Named after the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs, held in Paris, France, Art Deco was a celebration of the new materials, mechanical progress and new manufacturing techniques developed at the time. Its use of color and geometric shapes was also considered more acceptable to the general public than the austere Bauhaus style in vogue at that time.

Look for sharp geometric shapes, especially triangles, shiney material, lacquered woods, " streamlined" design elements, like zigzag, thunderbolt and sunburst patterns. 


  ART NOUVEAU - The goal of the designers involved in creating the new wave styles 1900 was to create a totally new form, without connection to what had transpired before. This occurred almost simultaneously across the western world, with Antoni Gaudi in Spain, Charles Rennie Macintosh in Scotland, Louis Comfort Tiffany in America and the most familiar versions by an assortment of artists in France and Brussels.

Look for sinuous lines ending in a whiplash curve, often resembling the bud of a flower. The style has a very organic feel, with abstract versions of leafs and tendrils usually in asymmetrical patterns. 


ARTS AND CRAFTS / MISSION / PRAIRIE – The Industrial Revolution in England changed the way things were made. Hand built products were replaced with typically poor quality, mass-produced goods. Intent on returning to the joy, honesty and beauty found in the creation of handmade items for the home, William Morris, in 1861, hired a group of artists and designers and created a firm to produce textiles, wallpaper and furnishings for the home.

In the late 19th century, the heavy forms used by Morris evolved into lighter, simpler shapes. This change occurred as Japanese art and design became more readily accessible. Their sparse approach was in direct conflict with the dense, heavily furnished Victorian interiors. This direction had a major influence on the design direction in America. Gustav Stickley created his famous line of "Craftsman" furniture and Frank Lloyd Wright developed his Prairie style of architecture on the foundations of this movement.

Look for rectilinear shapes, thick, solid material sections and flat, stylized design elements. If wood is used, it will typically be oak.


CASUAL / Lifestyle (Soft Contemporary) – These are relatively new terms used to define an interior aesthetic look based around the idea that the home should be a comfortable haven. By creating an environment that seems unstructured and without rigid design parameters, the homeowner can more easily relax and enjoy each room.

Look for simple, uncluttered design elements, a sparse use of ornamentation and warm, comfortable colorations such as brushed nickel, bronzes and earth tones.


ETHNIC / FOLK / PRIMATIVE - Formally trained artisans, architects and designers have created most of the styles we recognize today. Independently, uneducated craftspeople have always created items using native or self-taught techniques. The work of these people has influenced design throughout the decades. An untrained Grandma Moses is as recognizable as a Picasso. Workman-like tin goods are still replicated today. Shaker furniture, African tribal ware, along with Mayan and Pre-Columbian artifacts have all influenced contemporary design, but are still recognizable on their own merit.

Look for rudimentary manufacturing techniques, irregular and limited ornamentation, simple shapes and finishes.


EUROPEAN - From the 1400's Renaissance styles, when interior design first took hold, through the Baroque and Rococo era (1600-1760) and into the beginnings of the Neoclassic period, European designers created interiors that exemplified the wealth of the owner or ruler. For the first time, order was brought into the residence and a sense of purpose was instilled in each piece of furnishing. These styles were found almost exclusively in the homes of the powerful, so one-upmanship played a large part in what was selected and used.

Look for heavy, large features, plentiful ornamentation, gilt accents, dark, dense colorations or finishes, usually with a low-gloss level and proportions commensurate to the taller ceilings found during this era.


LODGE / COUNTRY - As America matured and residents began to earn more money, time away from the daily routine to relax and regroup lured people to the country. In national parks and wooded areas, lodges were built. Typically using natural materials, often found on-site and constructed using pioneer building techniques, these structures featured exposed, rough-hewn wood beam truss work and stone fireplaces. The high-style rustic interiors complemented the outdoor activities of hunting, fishing, nature walks and lake swimming.

Look for rough-hewn wood, natural metals with forge-like features and heavily textured surfaces. Elements of wild game may also be found.


MEDITERRANEAN / SPANISH - For reasons of climate, roofs in Spain were flat, walls were thick stucco, painted white, and floors were stone. Décor was typically restricted to tiles, built into the wall and employing abstract patterns. Borrowing from Islamic traditions, Spain was the first country to use carpets, also displaying bold colors and patterns. After Christopher Columbus claimed vast new lands for Spain, Renaissance luxuries began making their way from Italy and the east. At the same time, the artisan class, comprised primarily of Moors in southern Spain exerted a strong influence on art and architecture. Finally, iron ore found in the north gave craftsmen wrought iron for decorative works. The conflagration of these events, created a look, uniquely Spanish.

Look for intricate, detailed wrought iron panels, leather, silver, ivory and ebony embellishments. 


  TIFFANY - The edges of a piece of glass are wrapped in copper. This task is repeated for each and every fragment of glass in the design, no matter how small. Inside a bowl-shaped mold, the copper-wrapped pieces are set, according to pattern, side-by-side and then soldered together, one joint at a time. This painstaking process, (some believe to be over 2000 years old) has changed little since its popularization by Louis Comfort Tiffany and John LaFarge in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Often based in organic designs employing a full palette of colors, recent patterns have explored contemporary themes and monochromatic glass selections.

Look for colorful pieces of glass, set in geometric or organic patterns and wrapped in onyx-colored beading. The accompanying lamp base or lamp (bulb) holding devices are usually rich, deep bronze finishes. Many of the contemporary pieces are finished in Brushed Nickel.    


UTILITY - A lighting source created with function, rather than aesthetic beauty in mind. This does not mean they are not well designed, simply that they were created with light output as their primary goal.

Look for familiar shapes, no ornamentation, unencumbered light output.
   

VICTORIAN - Borrowing heavily from Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque ideas, the combination that became popular in 1850 in England and twenty years later in the United States developed into a recognizable look, all its own. Upholstery was embroidered and heavily padded and windows were trimmed with multiple layers of draping and shading. The proportions are massive, colors are dark and virtually every surface is accented with ornamentation.

Look for lighting with gaslight features such as gas cocks and glass holders with open web bottoms. Glass will typically have a dense, decorative, etched pattern.  The proportions will typically be large to fill the tall ceilings prevalent in the Victorian era.